22 May 2013

New Nukes

THE day-to-day operations of eight proposed nuclear power plants in the UK will have no effect on the health of our population, the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) said today. But a severe accident would require the population to shelter in their homes for up to two days, food controls to be put in place and the likelihood of increases in cancer rates. The British government plans to build eight plants – five on the coastline of Irish Sea – up to 2025, and the RPII this morning published a study into likely health effects.

Irish Independent 21st May 2013 read more »

A report from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) says that prevailing winds will push most of the radioactivity away from Ireland if one of the new plants fails.

Irish Independent 22nd May 2013 read more »

Ireland has nothing to fear from proposals for eight new nuclear power plants in Britain, this country’s nuclear safety watchdog says. A three-year study by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) found the day-to-day running of the plants would pose no health risk here. And it said even in a worst-case scenario, where the most serious kind of accident was combined with the least favourable weather conditions, the maximum radiation dose likely to be received by members of the public was still well within safety limits.

Irish Examiner 22nd May 2013 read more »

Britain’s nuclear power plant building programme poses only a “very low” risk to Ireland. That is the view of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) which today published a study on the possible impacts for Ireland of up to eight new nuclear power plants, the closest of which would be 100 kilometres from Ireland.

Irish Times 22nd May 2013 read more »

An accident at one of eight proposed new nuclear power plants in Britain would have a socio-economic impact on Ireland, a new study claims.

RTE 21st May 2013 read more »

The study indirectly raises questions for Ireland and our long-term energy strategy. We still import 90% of our energy and even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy schemes will not suggest they can satisfy demand. There seems too to be a growing and determined opposition to wind farms as the consequences of living near one becomes more familiar to more people. There seems an inevitability about nuclear power so maybe we should begin to prepare to build one even if, in time, we do not, as beginning that process when we need the energy would be far, far too late.

Irish Examiner 22nd May 2013 read more »

Hinkley

COUNCIL bosses have expressed their disappointment at a Government decision not to grant community benefits during Hinkley Point C’s construction. Sedgemoor District Council gave evidence for a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee, asking for additional community benefit during the construction period of new nuclear builds like Hinkley. The committee report, which asks for the benefits on top of the standard Section 106 agreement, said: “Unlike renewables, nuclear power stations take a long time to build and therefore have the potential to cause considerable disruption to local communities for an extended period of time.”

This is the West Country 21st May 2013 read more »

Wylfa

Wylfa nuclear power station could generate electricity until the end of 2015 – potentially securing more than 600 jobs for another 15 months.

Daily Post 21st May 2013 read more »

ITV 21st May 2013 read more »

Hundreds of business people have packed a conference in North Wales today to see just how a new nuclear power station could boost Anglesey’s economy – and the finances and job prospects of the suppliers across the region. Building the new Wylfa B reactor may be one of Wales’ most controversial developments with some fierce opposition.

ITV 21st May 2013 read more »

The company behind plans to build a new power station at Wylfa on Anglesey will share its vision for the site with local businesses today. Horizon Nuclear Power is holding two events, one in Llandudno and one in Gloucester, to give local businesses a chance to see what opportunities are available.

ITV 21st May 2013 read more »

Supply Chain

ENGINEER Renew Holdings reported a record order book at £361m, driven by contract gains at the Sellafield nuclear processing plant. The Leeds-based group reported a 19 per cent rise in its order book at the end of March.

Yorkshire Post 22nd May 2013 read more »

Utilities

Scottish & Southern Energy predicted to announce profits of up to £1.4bn at a time when many are struggling to pay their bills. Accusations that the big energy firms are profiteering at the expense of UK households will be centre stage again on Wednesday if Scottish & Southern Energy, as expected, reveals bumper profits for a second year running.

Guardian 21st May 2013 read more »

Energy giant SSE saw annual profits at household and business supply arm jump 27.5pc to £410.1m as gas usage soared 21pc in the cold weather – and warned of more price rises to come. SSE raised power prices by 9pc in October, warned of likely price rises to come, saying there would be “additional costs of over £80 per dual fuel customer in 2013-14”. “Unless there is a sustained reduction in prices in wholesale gas and electricity markets, it is highly likely that these additional costs will eventually have to be reflected in higher prices for household customers,” it said. However it said it intended “to resist this trend of higher costs for as long as possible to shield customers from the unwelcome impact of higher prices”.

Telegraph 22nd May 2013 read more »

Sweden

Nuclear power is safe: Pigs can fly. That’s the lesson Greenpeace Sweden sent to the nuclear industry once again today as we flew our paramotor glider over the unprotected Ringhals nuclear power plant in southwest Sweden, near Gothenburg. And once again we see that nuclear reactors are both vulnerable and unprotected from threats – deliberate or accidental – from the air. The next time it might not be a Greenpeace paramotor approaching the plant – it could be a falling passenger jet. So why are we highlighting these dangers? Because nobody else – especially the nuclear industry – will.

Greenpeace 21st May 2013 read more »

Japan

Scientists said Tuesday they have detected radioactive cesium from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in plankton collected from all 10 points in the Pacific they checked, with the highest levels at around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude.

Japan Times 22nd May 2013 read more »

Fukushima crisis update 17th to 20th May. TEPCO announced yet another leak on Friday, this time from a tank holding treated water near reactors number 5 and 6 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Greenpeace 21st May 2013 read more »

Korea

Two South Korean nuclear power plants – Yonggwang and Ulchin – have been renamed in response to pressure from local fishermen who claimed that problems at the plants had damaged the image of their traditional catches.

World Nuclear News 21st May 2013 read more »

Energy Efficiency

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) today publishes two detailed Policy Briefings that considers one of the key energy issues affecting vulnerable communities fuel poverty – and how it is being tackled and should be tackled. It particularly focuses on the positive role Local Authorities can bring to bear in promoting innovative strategies to assist those most affected by fuel poverty through more determined energy efficiency programmes. The report also considers the UK Government‟s much trumpeted „Green Deal‟ as the vehicle for promoting financial support for energy efficiency programmes and tackling fuel poverty.

NFLA 21st May 2013 read more »

Concern is mounting that the government’s Green Deal will be undersubscribed and mis-sold, giving energy efficiency a bad name. Industry watchers have warned there is already evidence of mis-selling, even as take-up remains modest three months after launch. A cross-party group of MPs has launched a report into the progress of the flagship scheme, in which they criticise the Department of Energy and Climate change for failing to establish clear success criteria. Meanwhile, a survey by Which? found that 46 per cent of homebuyers would be put off by a Green Deal loan attached to a property. At a debate on restoring trust in the energy sector hosted by Edelman last week, one audience member said he had been told three or four misleading things in a sales call.

Utility Week 21st May 2013 read more »

Businesses and green groups have welcomed government plans to pay companies to curb their energy use, despite concerns that its chosen method for driving reductions in power demand could fail deliver the £2.3bn of promised economic savings by 2030. The government yesterday unveiled its much anticipated response to a consultation on how to boost energy efficiency investment and help reduce the need for costly new power plants. The new plans will see demand reduction and demand response schemes that see firms paid to reduce energy use during periods of peak power demand funded through the capacity market, which was originally designed to incentivise the development of back up power plants.

Business Green 22nd May 2013 read more »

Renewables

Plans to repower a 16-year-old community wind farm project in Cumbria have been backed by councillors. Five turbines were installed at Harlock Hill, near Ulverston in 1997 by Barrow-based community co-operative Baywind. Barrow Borough Council has agreed to back the plans to double the size of all five turbines. But the site straddles two local authority areas and one – South Lakeland Council – has already refused permission for them to be upgraded. Baywind has partnered with Dutch-owned wind power firm Infinergy and says the existing turbines are no longer efficient. A spokesman for the company said they would now appeal against South Lakeland Council’s decision.

BBC 21st May 2013 read more »

Clearly there is no one solution, but an important and overlooked one, for me, relates to scale. A lot of our end use comes down to the built environment in which we work and live. Reducing demand is the logical first step, something the complexity and interest rates of Green Deal may or may not achieve, especially in light of its early results and as ACE recently highlighted, as something the DCLG consistently undermine. Making energy-use more visible through smart meters and the options this may open up for demand side response also have a role to play. In addition, local generation can create more active consumers (or pro-sumers) through smaller scale technologies, like PV at the building scale. Data on the UK feed-in-tariff shows that within three years there have been over 379,000 installations – there is not a direct correlation, but this represents a significant number of new players within the energy system, as well as new investment. I have written before on how Community-led approaches can also play a central role, attracting local investment; increasing participation, control and democracy; and helping to change attitudes and behaviour towards technologies, demand and the climate. Increasingly those schemes that generate revenue are also able to self-fund wider energy and sustainability initiatives at the local level. These projects come in ranges of scales, and many are not small and cuddly – the ambition and appetite is considerable. Most of these projects, outside of Scotland at least, have emerged despite of policy, not as result of it. More individual or community based approaches are not for everyone, but for those able and willing to participate, they potentially offer an important route for moving to a more sustainable energy system.

IGov 21st May 2013 read more »

Fears that imposing punitive duties on Chinese solar panels will trigger widespread European job losses are overblown, according to a confidential assessment carried out by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. In its biggest trade case – and one of its most controversial – the commission has recommended that imported Chinese solar products face duties averaging 47 per cent for “dumping”, or selling their products below cost. A group of European and Chinese companies opposing such measures have warned that they will backfire by pushing up prices for solar equipment in Europe and wiping out jobs, particularly among the small firms that install panels.

FT 22nd May 2013 read more »

Scotland will be the first part of the UK to have a dedicated fund to help with the development of the wave energy sector, energy minister Fergus Ewing said. The £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), which was launched last year, is now to be used to provide support for the wave energy industry. Projects will be able to apply for cash from next month, with funding expected to be awarded this summer. Mr Ewing will announce more details of the initiative at the All Energy Conference in Aberdeen today.

Scotsman 22nd May 2013 read more »

The first year of testing of a wave energy machine in the sea off Orkney has produced “encouraging” results, according to its owners. The Pelamis P2 has experienced around 90% of average annual sea state occurrences since the test programme began last May – including individual nine metre waves. The combined P2 test programme – which also involves testing by an E.on-owned machine – has now accumulated 7500 grid connected operating hours, and exported 160MWh of electricity to the national grid. The P2 this week completed its first year of a robust testing programme at the European Marine Energy Centre at Billy Croo in Orkney.

Scotsman 22nd May 2013 read more »

SCOTLAND is struggling to meet the Government’s target for the development of community renewable energy schemes, a green energy expert with one of the country’s leading real estate agents warned today. Gregory Dix, of Savills Energy, is challenging claims by the Energy Saving Trust that Scotland is on track to achieve its community renewable target of having 500 megawatts of community and locally-owned renewable energy schemes in place by 2020. Mr Dix said the figures published by the trust relied too heavily on farms and estates, which accounted for 33 per cent of the total, with a further 31 per cent being accounted for under housing association developments and local business developments. And he claimed that under the “real definition of community” the total capacity of renewable energy so far installed in Scotland was only 26megawatts.

Scotsman 22nd May 2013 read more »

Climate

Slower surface temperature rise over the past decade doesn’t change scientists’ projections of how much warming we can expect in the long term.

Carbon Brief 21st May 2013 read more »

Matt Ridley has joined the real climate debate. The climate sceptic’s interpretation of my study as final endorsement of his position means we can move on.

Guardian 21st May 2013 read more »

The battle against global warming has received a transformational boost after China, the world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide, proposed to set a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. Under the proposal China, which is responsible for a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions, would put a ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions from 2016, in a bid to curb what most scientists agree is the main cause of climate change.

Independent 21st May 2013 read more »

Humanity has decided to yawn and let the real and present dangers of climate change mount. That was the argument I made in last week’s column. Nothing in the responses to it undermined that conclusion. If anything, they reinforced it. Judged by the world’s inaction, climate sceptics have won. That makes their sense of grievance more remarkable. For the rest of us, the question that remains is whether anything can still be done and, if so, what?

FT 21st May 2013 read more »

Fossil Fuels

The Institute of Directors claimed the fledgling industry could create 74,000 jobs, more than double its previous estimate of the industry’s potential. The business group said the industry, which involves the controversial process of fracking, could also help to support manufacturers and reduce gas imports. The IoD report works on the assumption Britain has 309 trillion cubic feet of gas – equivalent to 100 years’ worth of demand – using estimates provided by leading exploration companies including Cuadrilla, IGas and Dart Energy. Even if only 10pc of that capacity is technically or economically recoverable, the IoD says shale gas production could satisfy one third of Britain’s annual gas demand at peak output by 2030.

Telegraph 22nd May 2013 read more »

Shale gas is the future of Britain’s energy industry, according to a report sponsored by the sector’s biggest company. Despite the controversial technique used to extract the fuel, the Institute of Directors has found that a domestic shale gas industry could generate 74,000 jobs and supply up to half of the country’s annual gas needs by 2030. The institute said that the report had been written independently by its own researchers, although it has been financed by Cuadrilla Resources, the shale gas producer whose drilling was said to have caused earthquakes near Blackpool and prompted a year-long ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Times 22nd May 2013 read more »

FT 22nd May 2013 read more »

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Published: 22 May 2013